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Category Archives: Relationship between LOAC and IHRL

Report of the Stimson Center Task Force on Drone Policy

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Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 3:27 PM

The Stimson Center released today the report of its Task Force on US Drone Policy.  The ten-member task force, of which I was a member, was chaired by General John Abizaid and Rosa Brooks.   The report makes eight recommendations for overhauling US drone strategy; improving oversight, accountability, transparency and clarifying the international legal framework applicable . . .
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Readings: Can Non-State Actors Mount an Armed Attack? by Kimberly N. Trapp

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Among the issues separating the American understanding of international law regarding transnational non-state actor armed groups from that of the “international community” (or at least an influential and significant part of UN officialdom, international law academics, international tribunals, international human rights NGOs, and governments particularly in Europe) is whether it is even possible for a . . .
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The AUMF and IHL’s Field of Application

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Our friends at the ICRC DC delegation have a wonderful blog, intercross, and often use it to host brief exchanges among scholars and practitioners on current IHL and IHL-related issues. Right now, they’re digging into questions about IHL’s applicability in connection with the 2001 AUMF (e.g., whether passage of the AUMF automatically brought IHL to . . .
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The US and Human Rights: A Federalist Society Debate

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Criticizing the US stance on human rights treaties is practically an international sport, as evidenced by the bruising reception the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) gave to a US delegation last week.  As Bobby reported here, the US disappointed the HRC by declining to agree with former State Department Legal Adviser Harold Koh’s recently disclosed . . .
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A Reply to Wittes on the United States and Extraterritoriality

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Monday, March 10, 2014 at 4:34 PM

I’m usually a big fan of Ben’s cogent observations on Washington’s folkways.  Unfortunately, I can’t be as enthusiastic about Ben’s reply to my earlier post on Harold Koh’s memos regarding extraterritoriality of human rights treaties.  Ben overstates the duration of the United States’ position against extraterritoriality.  He also includes some pokes at Koh’s service as . . .
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Extraterritoriality and Human Rights: Time for a Change in the U.S. View?

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Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 8:11 AM

As Jack has frequently observed, legitimacy and effectiveness often go hand-in-hand.  The two comprehensive State Department memoranda by former Legal Adviser (and Yale Law School dean) Harold Koh released Friday on extraterritoriality under the ICCPR and Convention Against Torture make this point powerfully and persuasively (see commentary by Marko Milanovic here and Jennifer Daskal here).  . . .
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Readings: “Charting the Legal Geography of NIAC” by Michael Schmitt

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Monday, February 3, 2014 at 1:11 PM

I’ll be participating this week in a Naval War College workshop on “Legal Implications of Autonomous Weapons,” and since my presentation topic at the workshop is “area of operations” with respect to autonomous weapons, I thought it might be a good idea to check on any recent scholarship on what has come to be called . . .
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Readings: “Using Force on Land to Suppress Piracy at Sea,” by Steven R. Obert

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Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Although piracy in the Indian Ocean by Somali pirates is sharply down in the last year or two, threats remain and an increase in attacks is far from impossible.  After all, little has been done to disrupt the land-based organizational, logistical, and financial structures of  Somali piracy.  Nearly all anti-piracy use-of-force actions have taken place . . .
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Modirzadeh on National Security Law as a Field

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Friday, January 24, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Naz Modirzadeh (Senior Fellow at the Counterterrorism and Humanitarian Engagement Project) has a paper in the latest issue of the Harvard National Security Journal that (i) posits the existence of distinct tribes of IHL and IHRL scholars in America and (ii) contends that members of both tribes modulated their positions over the past dozen years . . .
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The More You Attempt Capture Operations, the Less Feasible They Become

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Friday, November 1, 2013 at 5:16 PM

A coda to Bobby’s post below asking about the legal views underlying US operations in Somalia over the past three weeks.  Three weeks ago, SEALs attempted a capture operation against a target on the coast of Somalia.  The SEAL team withdrew without capturing its target, on account of risks to noncombatants, it was reported.  Three . . .
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Interim Report by UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson on Drones in Counterterrorism Operations

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Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

You can find the interim report—the final won’t be submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council until 2014, apparently—here. There’s a good bit to pore over in the paper authored by Emmerson, with whom Lawfare chatted during his May fact-finding trip to the United States.  (Just Security’s Sarah Knuckey, who Emmerson consulted in the course of his work, . . .
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Postwar: An Essay on Whether the Armed-Conflict Model Still Matters

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 7:53 PM

“Does it really matter, from a legal perspective, whether the U.S. government continues to maintain that it is in an armed conflict with al Qaeda?  When it comes to the use of lethal force and military detention, not nearly so much as both supporters and critics of the status quo commonly assume.” Those are the . . .
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The Capture-or-Kill Debate #11: Goodman Responds to Ohlin

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 10:46 AM

The following guest post is the latest in a series comprising a debate as to whether LOAC requires an attempt to capture rather than a first-resort to lethal force in some circumstances.  The debate involves Professor Ryan Goodman, on one hand, and an array of posts from Professors Kevin Heller, Jens Ohlin, Geoff Corn, Laurie Blank, Chris . . .
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The Capture-or-Kill Debate #10: Goodman Responds to Heller

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 1:13 PM

The following guest post is the latest in a series comprising a debate as to whether LOAC requires an attempt to capture rather than a first-resort to lethal force in some circumstances.  The debate involves Professor Ryan Goodman, on one hand, and both Professor Kevin Heller and a group consisting of Professors Geoff Corn, Laurie . . .
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Ohlin on Capture-or-Kill

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Friday, March 8, 2013 at 6:17 PM

I have been curating a running debate about whether LOAC requires an attempt to capture rather than a first-resort to lethal force in some circumstances, sparked by a paper from Professor Ryan Goodman and including responses and more from Professors Geoff Corn, Laurie Blank, Chris Jenks, Eric Jensen, and Kevin Heller.  The relevant posts to this point . . .
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The Capture-or-Kill Debate #7: Goodman Responds

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Monday, March 4, 2013 at 10:16 AM

The following guest post is the latest in a series comprising a debate as to whether LOAC requires an attempt to capture rather than a first-resort to lethal force in some circumstances.  The debate involves Professor Ryan Goodman, on one hand, and Professors Geoff Corn, Laurie Blank, Chris Jenks, and Eric Jensen writing collectively on . . .
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The Capture-vs-Kill Debate #6: Rejoinder to Goodman from Corn, Blank, Jenks, and Jensen

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Friday, March 1, 2013 at 3:36 PM

The following guest post is the latest in a series comprising a debate as to whether LOAC requires an attempt to capture rather than a first-resort to lethal force in some circumstances.  The debate involves Professor Ryan Goodman, on one hand, and Professors Geoff Corn, Laurie Blank, Chris Jenks, and Eric Jensen writing collectively on the . . .
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Goodman Responds to Corn, Blank, Jenks, and Jensen on Capture-Instead-of-Kill

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:13 PM

The following is a guest post from Ryan Goodman, continuing a conversation begun yesterday in this post from Geoff Corn, Laurie Blank, Chris Jenks, and Eric Jensen. What the Critics of the “Lesser Evil” Rule (Still) Get Wrong: A Rejoinder to Corn, Blank, Jenks, and Jensen by Ryan Goodman I recently wrote that the law . . .
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Corn, Blank, Jenks, and Jensen Respond to Goodman on Capture-Instead-of-Kill

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Monday, February 25, 2013 at 4:52 PM

The following is a guest-post from Geoff Corn, Laurie Blank, Christopher Jenks, and Eric Talbot Jensen, responding to Ryan Goodman’s recent Slate article (building on his new European Journal of International Law article, which Jack noted here) in which he contends for an interpretation of LOAC that would require attempts to capture rather than kill in some circumstances. . . .
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Drone Strikes, the UN Special Rapporteur Investigation, and the Duty to Investigate

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Friday, January 25, 2013 at 11:14 AM

[Update - I've clarified some points below, at the bottom, in response to reader feedback] Ben Emmerson QC is a British human rights law specialist who currently serves as the UN Human Rights Council’s “Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights” (this poisition is one of several dozen thematic or country-specific investigative entities set up by . . .
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